February 6, 2002
Australian Christian school expels
A story released today by the Australian Associated Press reports that an eight year
old Australian boy has been expelled from school after the Christian school he has been
attending discovered that his mother was unmarried. The board of Kingsway Christian
College in suburban Perth effectively banned eight-year-old James Brown from his school of
four years last Friday.
It did so by preventing James' mother Barbara Brown gaining membership at the
parent-controlled school, which is necessary for a child to be enrolled.
The new membership was required because James was enrolled under his grandmother's
name, and she had moved to Adelaide.
Executive Director of Kingsway Christian College, Ray Dallin, said the school's board
decided on Friday not to grant Ms. Brown membership because she did not meet the criteria
set down under its constitution.
Mr. Dallin said the board would have been sending the wrong message to other students
and parents if it had not declined the membership.
"The statement in membership is that the person really needs to be living a life
which is compatible with the Protestant and evangelical principles," Mr. Dallin said.
"Based on the criteria that the board has to make the decision (adhering to
guidelines) given to it by the parents, the board felt it had no other road to go down
than to decline her membership."
Mr. Dallin said the school was prepared to reimburse Ms Brown for any school payments
paid for this year and for new uniforms.
France experiencing increase in
A story released today by the BBC News reports that 43% of the 774,800 French babies
born in 2001 were to unmarried couples. The same figures also noted that marriages are
also on the increase.
But the theory of the seven-year itch appears to be untrue. The figures for 2001,
released by the French National Statistics Institute (Insee), show that divorces peak at
year five of the marriage, and decrease progressively from then on.
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Australia sees all time low in
A story released today by SMH.com reports that in Australia, adoptions have fallen to a
record low, with contraception, abortion and social acceptance of single parents among the
reasons cited for a dramatic 30-year decline.
A survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare tracking the fall in
adoptions found the reasons for the drop reflect fundamental shifts in Australian society
over the past 30 years.
Since the peak of 9798 adoptions in 1971-72, contraceptives have become widely
available and used, cutting the number of unplanned pregnancies.
Abortion has also become more acceptable, the institute says.
The report also cites the introduction of income support for single parents, and a
change in community attitudes toward single parenting.
Another big contributor to the decline is that step-parents, who previously tended to
adopt their partners' children, are now encouraged to become legal guardians. That
principle also applies to other relatives, such as grandparents.
The institute report said the fall in adoptions in 2000-01 was almost entirely due to a
decline in local adoptions - that is, adoptions of Australian children by Australians.
Most children adopted now come from overseas, in contrast to the early 1970s when most
adoptions were of Australian-born children.
The decline comes as childless Australians - often frustrated by the difficulties in
adopting - spend more and more on fertility treatments like IVF.
Many such treatments are subsidized by the Federal Government, although it continues to
take a dim view of unmarried women receiving such treatment.